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Well this weekend was pretty eventful! "A Bunch of Short Guys" put on the 4th annual Industry Giants event. The event had a master class by Bobby Beck of Animation Mentor, which was an all day lecture class on "performance in your animation". Bobby's class was a great little affirmation session on how to approach animation. He's an entertaining speaker, and is passionate about animation, to say the least. It was nice to listen to him, and find myself nodding in agreement the whole time. Everything he covered was right on point as far as I was concerned. Lango says it perfectly, "There is no magic bullet". Animation is hard work, and rework, and rework. Nothing magical.. Just good old hard work and analysis.
The next day was full of keynote speakers in the industry. Chris Olivia the #1 guy over at Troublemaker Studios was one of the speakers of the day. I got more out of talking with him then anyone else on the panel. He's from Texas, and is forced to work as a Generalist for Robert Rodriguez. ( RobRod ). I can relate to his pain, and effort. Working under RobRob cannot be the easy on the constitution of the artist that I can tell you from personal experience. However, doing it for the last 5 years gives Chris this "baked" and "burnt" look. Poor fella. However, he has a huge amount of influence over RobRod's FX shots.. And since that's what RobRod has been making lately, it's a testimate to how creative Chris is. His previsualizations on movies like Sin City, or Spy Kids 1,2, or 3 were more often than not, followed literally. That shows the amount of trust RobRod has in Chris and his work.
Another power hitter was Rita Street. She was the Exec Editor for Animation Magazine for the last few years.. But now she's producing animated TV. She is well connected, and really understands what it takes to produce animation, and all that that implies. She rocked! I was like a little schoolboy talking with her. Picking her brain and finding out every tidbit of information I could harvest about selling and marketing animation of all sorts.
After the panel, the short guys treated everyone to drinks at a local pub. So hanging out with all these "industry giants" and really getting inside their head was a wonderful treat. I walked away with some new friends that day...